The skies are cloudy. The rain has stopped leaving the grass wet and puddles here and there. A slight wind blows across my yard but it feels refreshing and cool. Sitting quietly enjoying the cool breeze my eyes fall on something in the tall grass. Leaning forward I look closer but can’t make it out.
I watch more intently as the spikes of grass move as whatever it is moves forward. My eyes blur and blinking I slowly raise my hand to swipe over them hoping to clear my vision. The grass moves again.
“I really need to cut this grass!” Is my thought while trying to figure out what this creature is. I know it isn’t a large animal or I would be better able to see it.
Very slowly I leave my chair. Maybe if I can get closer I can figure out what this thing is. Ever so slowly I lower myself down onto the deck floor and lean forward. I can’t see it. Where’d it go?
My eyes scan the grassy area where I last saw it but I can see nothing. The grass isn’t moving. Where’s it at? “Oh, Lord I hope it isn’t a snake. Maybe I better go inside.”
No! I want to see what this is!
Sitting ever so still, the grass moves again. I hold my breath.
Out of the corner of my eye I see something small, large eyes, black and grey fur on the step.
It darts toward me and taking a deep breath I freeze in my position.
It circles me. Sniffing, darting to and fro. It stops and stares at me with big black piercing eyes.
I hold my breath and watch. It darts around behind me and sneaks up beside me and then…
With small claws on the edge of my hand my smile broadens.
A few years ago, I conquered my metaphorical mountain. It was hard. The pain was emotionally, physically, and spiritually excruciating at times. Because survival was my imperative; my beacon, I didn’t give much thought to how I would feel once I processed my repressed memories. Intuitively, I knew that in order to live, I had to discover and accept the congruent timeline of a dark and deeply buried past, and then learn how to manage the triggers that sometimes rendered me feeling helpless and hopeless.At times, I wondered, when my story is told and I am standing in my truth…What will happen next? How will I feel? How would I incorporate living with the effects of my trauma, and the resulting PTSD? Would I go from a person with “no past” to a person who was just a mental illness?I knew I wanted to live my life with my eyes wide open, to let go of the person I was not! I had a desire to own my story, my truth; to work through the torture and come out with a thick gnarly scar that proved to my inner child, my soul, my mind that I made it through.I learned to reach out and ask for help. I learned to be vulnerable, and attach. I learned that my life will probably be learning and relearning coming back to the present when the ice-cold skeleton hands begin to creep up my spine and rock my sense of safety. It was all about healing, surviving, and distress tolerance tools.I’m deeply proud of the courage it took me to conquer my mountain. I white-knuckled it to the top and back down. But didn’t learn the soft skills I needed to comfort and love my inner child, my soul, and my mind. I found that I was in the place of, After the Story-Now What?In the initial phase of my healing journey, I was working on letting go of who I wasn’t, but it did not help me discover who I am? I was in the throes of survival and didn’t have the capacity at the time to leave room for hopes, dreams, maybe’s, affirmations, peace, and contentment at the deep soul level.Today, I was reminded of a wonderful talk by Arthur Brooks at the Aspen Ideas Festival, titled: Strategies for happiness in life. I remember feeling so inspired by the points he made in his talk. In summary, Don’t rage against change, teach others what you know, take away the parts of you that aren’t really you, and surround yourself with love.”After the Story, while standing in my truth I can incorporate the wise suggestions of those who I look to for support, I can trust the difference I can make in the world around me, with the hope it has a ripple effect. I can live a content life, knowing that strong feelings and emotions about my past will come and that they will also go. I can surround myself with a like-minded and loving family and friends. Most importantly for me (presently) is that I can continue to learn and practice compassion and enjoy my insatiable curiosity about life, people, and how we’re all connected.I don’t have to turn away from the mirror ~ I don’t have to run away from the mirror that is held up to me by others.Before I shared my story, lived in my truth, I courageously survived. After sharing my story, I courageously live, and dream, and hope, and affirm that the statement, “I am ____,” is fluid with growth, change, and resilience.
I’m not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination but digging through some boxes I’ve lugged around forever I found some interesting items that piqued my curiosity. I’m at the age that looking back many years ago, when I was born, it made me wonder about World War 2. So I’ve done a little research and wow, hey millennials, you’ve got it easy!
It makes me appreciate what life was like for America as I grew up. Of course we didn’t have T.V. for some time. Nope, no cells phones either. (Praise God.) Journalist were the real thing and would give facts over the radio – facts, not opinions or an agenda to promote. We didn’t have a legal right to murder our unborn babies. News flash – people actually raised their babies or if unable to gave them up for adoption so they would be loved and cared for, not ripped apart for profit or a crazy science experiment.
I do remember in high school there was a few “gay bars” but it was not flaunted with indecent parades or forced down peoples throats so as to feel more accepted in their sins. And oh yes, in the 1960’s there was race riots with curfews, street closures, and a lot of nasty name calling of both blacks and whites.
Most families that went to church were called hypocrites just like they are today, but families on the most part had deep Christian beliefs and family ties were important. Divorce was looked down on and many children were ostracized because Mommy and Daddy didn’t live together any more.
But let’s get back to WW2. Who started it? When did it start? How long did it last? And how did Americans cope, feed their families, work, and try to remain sane in a world that was turned upside down and inside out?
Well, it began September 1, 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later France and Britain got involved and declared war on Germany, which began World War 2. From Sept. 1940 to May of 1941 Germany was bombing the crap out of Britain. The Royal Air Force and Winston Churchill got their act together and eventually defeated Germany when Churchill got aid from the USA through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration in 1941. And soon Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were also involved. By the end of the war Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Great Britain, U.S.A., Soviet Union, and China were all involved. No wonder they called it WORLD War!
So what was Adolf Hitler’s main objective in getting all this started in the first place? He is the culprit that started this mess, him and Stalin. The Soviet Union had vast territory and would give the German master race the “Lebensraum” it needed. (The territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development, especially associated with Nazi Germany) So Hitler wanted to invade the Soviet Union for that territory.
But Hitler also had a second part to his strategy; exterminate the Jews from German-occupied Europe! And he succeeded in murdering more than 4 MILLION Jews in death camps and gas chambers in just three years!
There was great celebration when the war ended September 2, 1945 along with much heart ache and strife. Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away in April 1945 and 291,557 American soldiers were killed in battle. We were a country in mourning and life was tough!
When the war began in 1939 my Dad was 30 years old and wanted to enlist to serve his country, but was told that because of his expertise, he would be of more value as a civilian independent contractor and was assigned to a huge boiler plant as a boiler fireman in Hammond, Indiana. It was during his time checking gauges, making repairs, and whatever other duties he did for the government, that a boiler exploded near him. He was hospitalized for several months with 3rd degree burns covering his face, head, arms and upper body. He died twice during that hospital stay and credited an Army nurse for saving his life, as well as tending to his burns in a way that left him no hair but few horrible scars. Even civilian workers paid high prices to serve our country.
Times were tough! There was shortages of everything. Food, clothes, gas, you name it. People were forced to buy books of Ration stamps because everything was in such shortage that rations had to be enforced. Like the toilet paper rationing during Covid except this rationing was out of necessity to save a country and its people, not because of a greedy few!
The head of the family would have to purchase these books of stamps. These are not like the Green stamps that came on the scene years later. Green stamps were given by various merchants as a promotional idea to get people to buy their product or shop in their store. When so many books of Green stamps were collected then the person could use them to get some item from their catalogue.
No, no, no. Government issued Ration Stamps was an absolute necessity! You could not buy anything without them. Each member of the family was issued a book of stamps and the stamps were for specific items. The stamps in the certain books were specified for milk, eggs, coffee, gas, etc, etc.
The pictures below is the treasures I found in my childhood scrap book when digging through those boxes I’ve hauled around. I’m amazed at the number of people who never knew about ration stamps and even more have never seen any. That’s what spurred me to do this post.
The book assigned for me, baby Sue, was specifically for baby food, juice, and bottled fruit. My older brother had one specifically for his needs as well as one specified for my older sister. In total I found 4 books and another one with only 3 stamps left in it. These books were only good for 4 weeks and only the person whose name is on the front could use them. Use them or lose them! How many books my parents had to buy in those years of war I have no idea. These particular books, I’m guessing, must have been purchased just before the war ended because all but one had several stamps left in them.
This is only one of the hardships Americans went through during this war. Since the war ended about 19 months after I was born I can’t tell you from experience what that life was like. I just don’t remember! 🙂 But I know our country was in turmoil; loved ones were lost or maimed, and families torn apart. If we compare our lives today with all that was going on then; women working in factories 12 hours a day with little to no pay, men on the battle fields or in huge plants doing government jobs, children being raised during a major war, shortages of everything and so much more I think our young people need to be told, hear, and see the truth of what they are NOT having to deal with and hopefully be made aware of the history that so many of us lived. This “cancel culture” is B.S.! We learn from history -we cannot eradicate it!
I’m grateful for what we have now, even in the mess America is presently in, and for all those who have fought all wars to keep us free. Freedom is not free, by any stretch of the imagination. We all sacrifice and suffer if it is lost.
The moon is hidden behind the dark clouds of the night. The sounds of the jungle scream of danger as men crawl on their bellies through thick brush and brambles, mud and bugs. One man looks to his right to see if his comrade is still beside him at a short distance. The comrade gives him a slight nod letting him know he’s okay.
Slowly, methodically they inch their way forward, not knowing what the next second, minute, or hour will bring. Their heavy gear weighs them down as they tighten their grip on the big gun held tightly in their hands. The crack of a twig sounds like a bomb has exploded and both men stop, hold their breath, and close their eyes praying this is not their last breath.
At home their children are in their beds and dreams of Daddy float through their minds. Women are kneeling beside their beds praying fervently that their husband, brother, father is safe and that the Lord has His hand upon them keeping them safe and will bring them home soon – alive.
The city lights are glowing across the streets of downtown in the big cities as angry shouts fill the air. The young people who have been indoctrinated to hate all that is good, all that is sacred, have gathered in protest against those who are sacrificing their very lives to give them that freedom to spit on those who are fighting for them, those who race to the scene of their car accident to render them medical help, and when facing down the barrel of a gun they quickly dial 911, and yet tonight they are yelling to de-fund those very men and women who race to save their lives.
The men and women who sacrifice their lives are being demonized as the great enemies of our country. How sad, to know that lives are lost in war, in crime, in accidents due to careless drivers, and yet what is good is now evil. What a shame that we, as Americans, have lost sight of how God has blessed our country, our people, our businesses, our education, children, and families. How sad we have stepped aside and forgotten those who have died to keep us free and safe, how they and God are being tossed aside by political agendas of greed for power and money.
Our country was founded on Christian values and yet it is the Christians that have stood silent through the making of laws that allows murdering our babies. Laws that have thrown traditional, God ordained, marriage out the window, laws that have given man power to regulate and deregulate our very rights to believe and practice our beliefs.
Oh how those families of all who died for our freedoms must grieve, oh how God must shed many tears in the face of the atrocities that His children and mankind are blatantly promoting, doing, and ignoring. Oh how, we as His church, need to hang our heads in shame for we are accepting the atrocities of the world and shrugging our shoulders while whispering, “Not much I can do about it. It’s just the way things are.”
For the families, the soldiers, all who serve to guard, protect, and respond, and who serve, I ask for your forgiveness for the lack of appreciation and gratitude for all you do to keep us free and safe, and that may our Lord and Savior keep you safe at home, in the streets, and afar. May His peace and love fill you throughout today and all your days. May His mighty hand be upon you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Below is a post fromPeckford42that provides an excellent summary of the corroding nature of learned helplessness and how the giant Covid PSYOP of this past year has shoved us in to a societal wide, curled fetal position. Give it a read, ask yourself some tough questions and then check out Peckford’s excellent site.What is a culture of compliance, and ever-shifting rules, doing to us?Why would any American allow the government to deny him a final goodbye to the person who raised him? Why would anyone allow grandma to die untouched in a hospital room without fighting back? In the post-vaccination era, why don’t people remove their masks? Learned helplessness, employed as a control tool.
Learned helplessness is well documented. It takes place when an individual believes he continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to improve his circumstances, even when he has the ability to do so. Discovering the loss of control elicits a passive reaction to a harmful situation. Psychologists call this a maladaptive response, characterized by avoidance of challenges and the collapse of problem-solving when obstacles arise. You give up trying to fight backAn example may help: You must keep up with ever-changing mask and other hygiene theater rules, many of which make no sense (mask in the gym, but not the pool; mask when going to the restaurant toilet but not at your table; NYC hotels are closed while Vegas casinos are open; Disney California closed while Disney Florida was open) and comply.You could push back, but you have been made afraid at a core level (forget about yourself rascal, you’re going to kill grandma if you don’t do what we say) and so you just give in. Once upon a time we were told a vaccine would end it all, yet the restrictions remain largely in place. You’re left believing nothing will fix this. Helpless to resist, you comply, “out of an abundance of caution.”
American psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven Maier created the term “learned helplessness” in 1967. They were studying animal behavior by delivering electric shocks to dogs (it was a simpler time). Dogs who learned they couldn’t escape the shock simply stopped trying, even after the scientists removed a barrier and the dog could have jumped away.
Learned helplessness has three main features: a passive response to trauma, disbelief that trauma can be controlled, and stress.
Example: You are being stalked by a killer disease which often has no outward symptoms. There is nothing you can do but hide inside and buy things from Amazon. The government failed to stop the virus initially, failed to warn you, failed to supply ventilators and PPE gear, and failed to produce a vaccine quickly enough. You may die. You may kill your family members along the way. You have lost your job by government decree and are forced to survive on unemployment and the odd stimulus check—manufactured dependence. It is all very real: WebMD saw a 251 percent increase in searches for anxiety this April.
Americans, with their cult-like devotion to victimhood, are primed for learned helplessness. Your problems are because you’re a POC, or fat, or on some spectrum. You are not responsible, can’t fix something so systemic, and best do what you are told.The way out is to allow people to make decisions and choices on their own. This therapy is used with victims of learned helplessness such as hostages. During their confinement all the important decisions of their life, and most of the minor ones, were made by their captors. Upon release, many hostages fear things as simple as a meal choice and need to be coaxed out of helplessness one micro-choice at a time.
Example: You cannot choose where to stand, so follow the marks on the floor. Ignore the research saying three feet apart is as useful or useless as six feet apart. Don’t think about why the rules are the same inside a narrow hallway and outside in the fresh air but don’t apply at all on airplanes.Kin to learned helplessness are enforcers. Suddenly your waitress transitions from someone serving you into someone ordering you to wear a mask, sit alone, eat outside, etc. Flight attendants morph from delivering drinks to holding the power to have security haul you to jail for unmasking when not actively eating. Companies once run by entrepreneurs are today controlled by the harassment-stalking undead from HR. We’ve become a republic of hall monitors. And there it is. The wrong people are in charge.
One of the better examples of learned helplessness is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a great book made into an impressive movie starring a lean Jack Nicholson. Nurse Ratched cows a group of mentally ill men into complete learned helplessness, encouraging them to rat each other out for small offenses, and to follow her every order no matter how absurd. The kicker comes near the end when we learn all of the men (except Nicholson) are free to leave the hospital at any time. They just…can’t.
It is amazing how fast people stepped into the Nurse Ratched role. Within moments of COVID’s arrival in the national conscience, officials like California’s Gavin Newsom, and New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio raced to assume fat emergency powers. They spent not one moment assessing the impact of their decisions to lock down against the effects of the lock down. They ignored information questioning the value of lock down.
They turned topsy-turvy the idea that in a free society the burden of proof is on those who would restrict freedom and not on those who resist such restrictions.
They were aided in manufacturing learned helplessness by the most sophisticated propaganda operation ever created. Already engorged with the coin of three years of fake news, the legacy media saw the value of a new crisis in working toward their two real goals: making as much money as possible garnering clicks, and defeating Donald Trump. Previous shows—Russiagate, with a hat tip to 9/11 when Americans demanded fewer freedoms to feel safer—illustrated the way. On a 24/7 basis Americans were injected with the message: You are helpless and Donald “COVID” Trump will kill you; your only hope is to comply fully with the people at CNN who are administering the electric shocks.
Truth is useless to propagandists, actually a threat.
Look at what turned out to be false (in addition to Russiagate): We never ran out of ventilators or PPE or nurses or ICU beds or morgues. Masks are not needed outdoors. We did in fact develop a vaccine, several for that matter, in less than a year. Almost everyone who died was elderly or had serious comorbidities (a distinct class) but we salivated over “new case numbers” as the primary metric anyway because they went up so much faster. When people questioned the real-world view against the media portrayal, they were told about “asymptomatic COVID” or shunned as hoaxers. Everyone makes mistakes. But just as with Russiagate, all the media mistakes swung one way.
It worked. Condo boards boarded up their gyms. Restaurants forced diners to eat outside in the rain. Entire industries, such as tourism and hospitality, disappeared overnight. New groups were shoved into poverty and unemployment. Children were denied education, criminals released from jails. People were told not to hug their loved ones or celebrate birthdays or attend church. We were told to fear our neighbors as potential carriers.
Every time dissenting information popped up—Florida opening its beaches for Spring Break, for example—the media rushed in to declare everyone was going to die. Texas was declared dead, South Dakota was declared dead, and Americans believed it all even when reports of survivors started drifting out of Disney World.
Americans are not comfortable accepting that their lives are being manipulated at this level, the way for example many Russians assume it to be so. We tend to dismiss such things as conspiracy theories and make an Oliver Stone joke.
But ask yourself how many of the temporary security and surveillance measures enacted after 9/11 are still controlling our lives almost 20 years later. Is the terror threat still so real the FBI needs to monitor our social media in bulk? Was it ever?
Nothing here is to say vaccines don’t work, or are themselves dangerous. That’s another debate.
This is about the politics of mass control. Add up the “doesn’t really make sense but we do it anyway” COVID rules and try to make sense of them. Why would otherwise smart leaders implement such rules, for example in New York’s case, purposely impoverishing a city or seeking to defund the police in the midst of triple digit rises in crime? Every time your answer is, “it just doesn’t make sense,” consider a scenario beyond coincidence where it would make sense, however out there that might be. It might be the most important thing you can do.
Then look out the window. Remember “15 days to flatten the curve?” With no voting or debate, a system based on a medical procedure capable of controlling our travel, which businesses we can visit, which hotels we can stay in, what jobswe can hold, what education we can access, at which point it is no more “voluntary” than breathing, was put into place. We no longer need to ask what is going to happen.
The streets are filled with people going about their every day tasks. Children are in school with teachers that are as disillusioned as the rest of society. The government has stepped in and set the rules for teaching, preaching, and living, leaving faces downcast, empty stomachs growl, groceries are scarce, the homelessness fill alleys, depression is prevalent, suicides are up, and hopelessness permeates the homes, schools, streets, and businesses.
Mary Lou slowly walks through a park. She’s doing all she can to stay hopeful and filled with joy in spite of all that is going on around her. She stops and watches a small bird fill it’s beak with grass clippings. It stops for a moment and looks at her before flying up to a tree branch and busily adds to the small nest she’s creating. Her home for when the babies are to come.
Mary Lou smiles and thinks of the verses she read in the Bible that speak of how if God takes care of the birds and they have no worries and how much more will He take care of His children. She watches as the little bird flits back down to the ground and hops near the grass edge. It fills its beak with dried grass and flies back to her nest to add her treasure.
Walking along she feels a little better. A squirrel darts across her path and stops to look at her. Standing on its hind legs it chatters at her and she hears whispered in her ear, “Stop worrying.” The squirrel then darts off and up a tree trunk. Mary Lou whispers, “You’re right Mr. Squirrel. I need to stop worrying.”
Late in the day as she ponders more birds, squirrels, and even a duck gliding across the lake with her ducklings. She gazes at the duck, smiles at the cuteness of the seven or eight ducklings following their Mama and then looks up at the sun going down through the trees. She steps to the edge of the lake to get a better view of the sunset and stands in awe of the beauty God has created.
Stepping over to a park bench she takes a seat and lowers her head with eyes closed and prays, “Lord, thank you for showing me your creation and the beauty you have created. You have shown me that whatever is going on in this crazy world that you still care, that you are still with me, and that I’m not to worry and to trust you. You promised to take care of your children and I am one of your kids, so please keep your promise. You said we are to look to eternity, not the present.”
As Mary Lou prays, her prayer is suddenly disrupted by a loud trumpet sound. The sky has turned dark, the air is filled with a power she has never felt before, and suddenly a white horse with a Rider appears high in the sky.
In the blink of an eye Mary Lou is standing on streets of gold. Her hopes, dreams, and faith has ushered her into the very presence of the Most Holy High God.
The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they should not interfere with God’s divine will.
At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistry. The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistry and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later, the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water-slide.
The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning. They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.
But the Catholic church came up with a more creative strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue. They took the first squirrel and circumcised him. They haven’t seen a squirrel since.